En Primeur Releases: 11 June 2021
11 June 2021
The 2020 Duhart Milon from the Lafite stable has been released this morning at GBP 684 per 12. We tasted this wine at the home of the Rothschid family in the UK, Waddesdon Manor, and were hugely impressed with its density, energy and finesse – with no little structure underneath. It could be one of the best Duharts we have tasted from barrel.
Duhart Milon shares its eastern border with Lafite and Mouton, sharing the famous deep gravel soils of the latter, while the northernmost vineyards are rich in water-retaining limestone which proved propitious during 2020’s extended drought. The relatively high proportion of Merlot also ensures this is a left bank wine that ticks a lot of boxes in 2020. A brand-new winery (for this vintage), allowing plot-by-plot vinification, has enabled greater vineyard expression and more precision in the wine than previously. As James Lawther MW opines on Jancisrobinson.com this could be “Possibly the best Duhart yet”.
The run from 2018-2020 certainly suggests that recent investments at Duhart Milon are paying dividends and this 4th Growth Pauillac is properly hitting its stride. And we are not alone in being hugely impressed: Jane Anson (95pts) writes “Elegant, precise, feels very Pauillac in its density combined with fine tannins that have life and lift on the finish” and Jeb Dunnuck (94-96pts) makes comparisons with the fabulous 2016 vintage “Its relatively plush, rounded style is not too dissimilar from the 2016, but it offers ample structure as well… another classic, concentrated, impressive wine from this team.”
Duhart Milon 2020 tasting notes and prices
95pts Jane Anson, Decanter “Restrained and sombre at first, but carefully constructed, with a rippling muscular texture, full of firm tannins with bright acidities underneath. Like the precision and the slightly austere cool blue fruits, pencil lead and liquorice root. Elegant, precise, feels very Pauillac in its density combined with fine tannins that have life and lift on the finish. Harvest September 9 to 29. First vintage in the new cellar.”
95-96pts James Suckling “This is so refined with beautiful currant, berry and some subtle chocolate and coffee. It’s full and very subtle with fine tannins that have a long finish. Such purity and finesse with structure. Fresh and savory. 72% cabernet sauvignon and 28% merlot.”
17.5/20pts JL, jancisrobinson.com “Power and definition but elegance as well. Tight and restrained initially then opens to blackcurrant with aeration. Fruit dense on the palate, a profusion of super-fine tannins providing a velvety texture as well as freshness. Long ageing. Possibly the best Duhart yet.”
94-96pts Jeb Dunnuck “Lots of tobacco, damp earth, chocolate, and lead pencil notes define the 2020 Château Duhart-Milon. Medium to full-bodied, it has a beautifully balanced mouthfeel, loads of blue and black fruits, and ripe yet certainly present tannins. Its relatively plush, rounded style is not too dissimilar from the 2016, but it offers ample structure as well. The blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot, and it hit 13% natural alcohol. This is another classic, concentrated, impressive wine from this team.”
93-95pts Jeff Leve “Earthy in nature, the wine lifts off with its cigar wrapper, forest leaf, tobacco, peppery spice and sweet red currant profile. Medium-bodied, elegant, silky and fresh, with a beautiful symmetry and balance, along with freshness, length and purity in the fruits, this is a top vintage for Duhart Milon. The wine is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. This is the first vintage made in the new cellars, which for the first time allow for parcel by parcel vinification.”
GBP 684 per case/12 IB
Other formats are available:
Halves – GBP 704 per case/24 IB
Magnums – GBP 694 per case/6 IB
Double magnums – GBP 774 per case/3 IB
Imperials – GBP 500 each IB
The 2020 L’Evangile has been released this morning at GBP 2220 per 12. This famous Pomerol has a world-wide following and the 2020 simply adds another superb expression of the vineyard to their impressive back catalogue.
L’Evangile is one of the major focuses for the DBR (Lafite) Group and Saskia de Rothschild is already working to drive the quality ever upwards; it’s clear that they have huge ambitions for the estate – hardly surprising when you consider the incredible potential of their land which borders Cheval Blanc to the south and Petrus to the north! As one might expect the critics are wheeling out the praise for the 2020 and some of the highest potential scores the estate has ever seen.
“The sculpting of L'Evangile that began over the past few vintages continues, and the 2020 is a gorgeous wine.” Jane Anson
“The 2020 L'Évangile is easily the most Lafite-like L'Évangile I have ever tasted. Don't miss it!” Antonio Galloni
This was another wine from the Lafite stable which absolutely wowed us at the Waddesdon Manor tasting late last month. It has simply astonishing concentration, a featherweight cashmere touch, and a sense of vineyard expression and energy we’ve only started to see in recent vintages. Arguably the estate is making better wines now than ever – and we are particularly thrilled about this new drive for elegant intensity. All Pomerol lovers should take note and put their name down for a case or two.
L’Evangile 2020 tasting notes and prices
98-99ts James Suckling “This is so floral and pure, showing crushed-grape character with some walnut and crunchy seeds. It’s full-bodied, juicy and fresh. Purity of fruit. Juicy and long. 88% merlot and 12% cabernet franc.”
96-98+ LPB, robertparker.com “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 L'Evangile rolls effortlessly out of the glass with notions of mulberries, black raspberries and stewed red and black plums, plus suggestions of Indian spices, dusty soil and violets with a touch of iron ore. The medium to full-bodied palate possesses compelling freshness and a fine-grained texture to support the muscular black and red fruits, finishing long and earthy.”
98pts Jane Anson, Decanter “The sculpting of L'Evangile that began over the past few vintages continues, and the 2020 is a gorgeous wine. Pristine fruit, silky with a whoosh of menthol. It elevates over the palate, both dense and light, with blueberry and raspberry fruits, and pulses of bitter almond and honeysuckle on the finish that gives focus and spice. Juliette Couderc joined L'Evangile (from DBR Lafite's Long Dai winery) in September 2020 so for the harvest of this wine, working alongside technical director Olivier Tregoat. 50% first wine, with no Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend this year because it was so over-concentrated that it made too much impact. Increased selective harvesting meant going through vineyard plots six times to bring in the grapes as they ripened. A yield of 32hl/ha. In the final year of organic conversion, so this next vintage 2021 will be certified.”
95-97pts Antonio Galloni “The 2020 L'Évangile is fabulous. Aromatic, deep and fleshy, with magnificent purity of fruit, L'Évangile dazzles right out of the gate. Bright Franc aromatics add striking lift as well as vibrancy that carries through to the long, delineated finish. There is an energy to the 2020 that is palpable. Harvest for the Merlot began on September 3, ahead of a heat wave that was forecast, and wrapped up on the 14th for the Merlot and the 21st for the Franc. That approach worked so well here. In the past, L'Évangile and Lafite-Rothschild were very different stylistically, but that seems to be changing now that Saskia de Rothschild is spending a great deal of her time in Pomerol with the new winemaking team. The estate, certified biodynamic as of 2021, has been pursuing a more refined approach for a few years, but 2020 is the first recent vintage where the personality of the year seems to have aligned especially well with the current thinking here. The 2020 L'Évangile is easily the most Lafite-like L'Évangile I have ever tasted. Don't miss it!”
96-98pts Jeff Leve “Dark garnet in color, initially you notice all the truffle, flowers, dark cocoa and plums with a touch of licorice in the aromatics. On the palate the wine is rich, lush, velvety and full-bodied. There is a beautiful richness to the texture on the mid-palate and in the opulen finish with its wealth of chocolate, espresso, black plum and sweet Morello cherries. The endnote lingers, which is what you need, as this tastes and feels so good, you want more of it. If you can, give this a decade of age this will really be singing. The wine blends 88% Merlot with 12% Cabernet Franc, 14.5% ABV. Yields were low at 32 hectoliters per hectare. The Grand Vin was made from 50% of the harvest.”
95-97+pts Jeb Dunnuck “Described as a new age for l’Evangile by the estate, their 2020 Château L'Evangile showed beautifully, with the pure, elegant yet still ripe, beautifully concentrated style of the estate these days. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, black cherries, blueberries, graphite, and violets all emerge from the glass, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a terrific sense of purity, present, ripe yet firm tannins, and a great finish. It's a promising, elegant yet at the same time powerful 2020 that's going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 20-25 years or more. The blend is 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, all raised in 60% new French oak.”
GBP 2220 per case/12 IB
Other formats are available:
Halves – GBP 2240 per case/24 IB
Magnums – GBP 2230 per case/6 IB
Double magnums – GBP 2310 per case/3 IB
Imperials – GBP 1525 each IB